Are you looking for things to do in Stilbaai. We list some of our favourite activies in the Garden Route Town.
Turn off from the N2 between Riversdale and Mossel Bay and you will find the quaint coastal town of Stilbaai. This fishing and farming community offers great angling off the rocks, a blue flag beach and more. It boasts an ancient history and two national heritage sites,
A great place for a relaxed family holiday, Stilbaai has expanded over the years due to its popularity as a vacation town for local tourists. It is divided between east and west by the Goukou River, and plays an important part in the lives of all the locals.
The town is visitor friendly and a very safe place to stay. It has the quintessential small town community atmosphere. Whether it’s for the nice people, the rich history or the beautiful scenery, there is a lot to like about Stilbaai.
Our Favourite Things To Do In Stilbaai
Tuin Op Die Brak Fynbos Park
For those interested in knowing more about the fynbos area, Tuin Op Die Brak Botanical Garden is the way to go. The area has one of the richest and smallest biomes, with plants that grow nowhere else on the planet. The gardens are a community project showcasing the beautiful plant life. The greenery on display is nice to look at, but will also give visitors an insight into the indigenous plants of the area.
Tuin Op Die Brak boasts 240 fynbos species, of which 13 are on the endangered list. Tuin Op Die Brak is divided into different sections based on the class of plants. Our favourite part is the Braille trail which is designed specifically with the sight-impaired in mind. It has roped walkways for the visually-impaired, which each knob on the rope stopping at a pillar with information in braille. The park is also wheelchair friendly, exemplifying how this small town has a big heart.
Blombos Nature Reserve and Blombos Museum
If you want to get close to nature while in Stilbaai, Blombos Nature Reserve is a good choice. With the right vehicle, you can make your way through, or if you are fit for it, or cycle though the reserve and experience the beautiful and unspoilt coastline
The reserve is also home to Blombos Cave, which is the location of the discovery of the oldest known art created by the modern human. Archaeologists excavated rocks with drawing on the rock that were handmade and from an ochre crayon dating back 73,000 years. This makes it the oldest known rock drawing. Inhabited by homo sapiens in the middle stone age. Remnants discovered there show Stilbaai to be on of, if not the world’s oldest modern human settlement. The cave itself is off-limits to visitors due to constant archaeological activity, but you can get an idea of what’s in it by visiting the Blombos museum.
Gin Tasting at Inverroche Distillery
Another venue which has the distinct Stilbaai stamp on it is the local distillery. Inverroche Distillery is one of the most popular places to visit in Stilbaai. It is home to one of the most beautiful gin farms in South Africa. Inverroche is the first handcrafted fynbos gin distillery in South Africa, using rare botanicals which grow nowhere else on the planet.
It’s a family business started by Lorna Scott in 2012. Locally manufactured gin and other products are made from the fynbos growing in the area and are no exported to 15 countries. As a visitor, you can taste the selection of gins that they have available, or you can even get the chance to make and bottle your own gin.
Another Stilbaai landmark is Kasselshoop Cheese. Kasselshoop’s traditional cheese is produced on the Kasselman family farm, Klein Soebattersvlakte. The farm is situated on route to Stilbaai, 20 minutes’ drive out of town along the R305. They have a nice variety of home-made cheese and a great selection of wine and port. It’s worth your time to spend an afternoon there dabbling in what’s on offer. There is also an Old School Store with various Kasselshoop Cheeses, jams, marmalade and other products to buy.
Visit Olive Farms
One of Stilbaai’s hidden secrets is the olive farms that can be found in the area. The two prominence ones are Kleinbergskloof Olive Estate and Oudewerfskloof Olive Farm. The former doubles as a wedding venue with an on-site deli and restaurant where you can enjoy scrumptious meals and brows products, while the latter is also a self-catering accommodation lodge. Both are located long the banks of the Goukou River in scenic sites with majestic views, and offer a range olives, olive oil and other olive-based products, straight from the source.
The Press Room Cafe
You will find the Press Room Café hidden down a long pathway throughthe Olive Grove. A stone building with stylish indoor and firesidedining or shaded outdoor courtyard dining. The café serves a small seasonal menu of delicious and innovative cuisine, accompanied by a select wine list of locally sourced wine and boutique style liqueurs.
Tastefully decorated with collectors’ pieces, antiques and furniture reflecting an old French Provence style paired with modern day conveniences, this sophisticated yet relaxed venue is well worth avisit.
Fishing at Stilbaai Harbour
Fishing is one of the most popular things to do in Stilbaai for the locals. On any given morning, you will find a bunch of commercial fishermen and anglers at the harbour. Fishing and angling is a big part of Stilbaai’s culture, and when the weather is right and the water clears, you can get some great catches there. If you want to take a break from the fishing, you can get a bite to eat at the Viking Fishing Anchor Restaurant.
Feed The Eels
On the ground of the Stilbaai tourism bureau, you will find some unexpected freshwater inhabitants in the property’s pond. The community of eels found here are the only tame eels in the country and were discovered in 1809 and have been fed on the property for over 200 years. The eels are fed on a daily routine every morning. For a nominal fee, visitors can feed these freshwater eels from Monday to Saturday and on Sundays during the holiday season.
The eels, which are of the species Anguilla Mossambica, are 1 of four species of freshwater eels in South Africa. There are about 10 to 15 eels that live deep in the rock pools. Brochures with more information are available at the information centre.
Besides the rich history of the area, visitors can also enjoy the pristine beaches and the Goukou river which runs through the town. The scenic area makes it a sought-after destination for local and international travellers alike.
Did we miss any of the fun activities? What are your favourite things to do in Stilbaai?